When there’s a wheel, there’s a way
Swiss cycling brand Spengle, best known for its three-spoke carbon wheels for mountain biking, has dreamed up a pair of bespoke rims, this time, handlaid with 24k gold leaf. They cost €8,333.33 (S$12,880) – that’s a lot of money for something you’ll be roughing out in, which begs the question: Why?
Gold bicycle wheels? Would I ride around leaving a trace of gold leaf wherever I go?
Well no, that’s just silly. The carbon monocoque wheels – said to be used in Formula 1 cars – will obviously be lined with rubber. In the event that you do use them, rest assured you won’t leave any trace, save for tyre marks, which would be made by the rubber, not your wheel.
And they cost… S$12,880? How long can they last?
Yes, but that’s the cost of one pair of wheels, not one. Think of it as an investment. Also, for those who’re avid cyclists, you’d know that rims can last for an extremely long time. The rubber may wear thin and need changing, but as long as your brakes don’t wear away the surface, it’ll last all right.
Would these wheels help me cycle better?
Yes and no. Confidence is key to success and this is no different. If you love your new buy, you’d want to use it often, to ride fast and far. And the more you use it, the better you’ll get. So yes, it’ll help you cycle better in some sense. That said, there’s only so much a pair of wheels can do. Just like a camera wouldn’t make a photographer, a bicycle (or pair of rims) won’t make a cyclist.
What would I get if I do place an order?
You’ll get exactly what you ordered. A custom, built-to-order set of wheels that are constructed at Spengle’s custom facility in Slovakia. Once complete, it’ll be hand-delivered and fitted by the team.
Is that all?
No, of course not. The wheels are intricately engraved, a result of more than three months of work. Remember, what you’re buying isn’t a pair of wheels, but a piece of art.
What if I get a few scratches on them while riding?
Don’t sweat it. Just like how each scar on your body tells a battle you (hopefully) won, so will these small digs.
What if I can’t bear to use them?
There’s no judgement here. It’s a piece of art, so don’t fret if you don’t want to use it for its original and intended purposes. You’re no different from those who collect classic cars or seven-figure timepieces. In fact, we’re willing to bet that there’ll be more people in the collector. Keep them in a glass case in your room, art gallery or uh, vault. The choice is yours.